No. 988
March 20, 2019
 

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On The Surface


Wednesday
Jul222009

ON THE TABLE

July 22, 2009

 

arrowup.gifarrowup.gifarrowup.gifGM. Publisher's Note (7/22, 3:45pm): Did somebody mention that it's not business as usual at the new GM Co.? Here's further evidence of it: Bryan Nesbitt - one of the key leaders at Global Design for GM - is moving to Cadillac to become the new General Manager, reporting directly to Bob Lutz, effective immediately. True to his word, "Maximum Bob" is bringing the design and product development aspects of the business within GM together to integrate the brand building power of their product and marketing initiatives in order to get closer to the customer. Since joining GM in April of 2001, Nesbitt and his teams were responsible for such design hits as the Buick Enclave, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Aura and Chevrolet Malibu. While assigned to GME Design in Europe, Nesbitt also led the development of the Saab Aero X and 9-X concepts, the Opel Meriva and GTC concepts, as well as the 2009 European Car of the Year – the Opel Insignia. The news of Nesbitt’s new assignment was shared with Cadillac dealers this afternoon by Mark LaNeve at a previously scheduled business meeting in downtown Detroit. An inspired choice. - PMD

Wendelin Wiedeking. The Porsche CEO bet big - while accumulating almost $13 billion in debt - that he could use Porsche's holding company to engineer a leveraged takeover of VW. How did that work out for you, Wendelin? Not. So. Much. Now the German executive who reveled in the "genius" status bestowed on him by a fawning faction of the German media who idolized him is about to be shoved out the door. Yes, he made a pile of money for himself, so no need to worry about ol' Wendelin - because "he ain't starvin'" as Chris Rock would say - but he is yet another classic example of a self-inflated, ego maniacal auto executive who took his eye off of the ball and forgot what he was there for in the first place. Don't let the screen door hit your ass on the way out, Wendelin, because after Porsche is absorbed by VW and the parts sharing starts going up and the brand distinctiveness starts going down, you won't be missed even for a moment.

GM, Chrysler. The eliminated dealer compensation controversy is a complete mess, and it won't go away anytime soon, now you have the Washington politicos all over your asses. This is what you get for having fewer friends in Washington than your well-connected dealers do. Talk about a giant empty car lot of Not Good.
 

Cerberus. Those "Masters of the Universe" are at it again. Since "Minimum Bob" kinda sorta needed something to do, Cerberus named Nardelli CEO of Cerberus Operating and Advisory Company LLC, which watches over the businesses in which the private equity firm invests. Now let's get this straight, they want him to run the company that watches over all of their business investments? Wasn't watching Nardelli run Home Depot into the ground followed by the Chrysler debacle enough for these people? You just can't make this shit up, folks.
 

State of California Politicians. Let's see, after decades of extravagant social hand-holding programs and bumbling group hugging in Sacramento - not to mention turning lecturing the rest of the nation about what's good for us into a professional sport - you've finally run out of miracles. Don't be surprised if you find it difficult to engender any sympathy around here, especially after you deemed that Detroit, Michigan, and the industrial Midwest were "expendable" if it meant achieving a greener world. Get your bills paid and your shit together, and then maybe we'll listen with some measure of sympathy. In the meantime - Boo. Fucking. Hoo.

arrowup.gif RWD Chevrolets. We're still not convinced that the idea of the Australian-sourced Pontiac G8 becoming a Chevrolet is completely dead. GM wants back in to the RWD police fleet market badly, and we believe something will be worked out to make it happen.

Speeders in Wake County, NC. Sheriff deputies in Wake County, NC (encompassing Raleigh), have a not-so-secret weapon at their disposal to deter speeders: a black Corvette Z06. The car was apparently seized from a drug dealer and is being used as a stealthy, sneaky speed limit enforcer. Gary Buchanan, a Raleigh resident who owns a 2007 Corvette, told The News & Observer that he saw Wake deputies last week cruising in the unmarked Z06 to enforce the 65-miles-per-hour speed limit on I-40 in Cary. "It had blue lights in the back and blue lights in the front," Buchanan said. "It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Something like that is so extreme. I mean, if my wife was out driving and this thing came up behind her and the light’s started going off, man, she'd be scared to death." Thanks to reader Neil Y. in Varick, NY, for passing this info along.

arrowup.gifYoshimi Inaba. The president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor America and chairman and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales USA told reporters in Washington yesterday that Toyota hadn't necessarily ruled out asking to be a part of the $25 billion Energy Department advanced technology vehicle retooling program. But he also said that things aren't all that bad for Toyota despite all of their current problems: "We are not short of cash, let me put it that way," Inaba said. And that's our AE Quote of the Week.

arrowup.gifMeadow Brook Concours d’Elegance. The 2009 Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. One of the country’s premier car events, the Meadow Brook Concours will be held on Sunday, August 2, and features more than 200 historic and rare automobiles including an exemplary display of “Fins and Chrome: The Convertibles of 1959” among many other interesting groupings. There are many special events planned for the entire weekend, including RM Auctions 15th Annual Vintage Cars of Meadow Brook, an automotive design forum and a gala strolling dinner on Saturday night. For more info, visit the Meadow Brook Concours website at .

 

See another live episode of "Autoline After Hours" hosted by Autoline Detroit's John McElroy, with Peter De Lorenzo and friends this Thursday evening, July 23, at 7:00PM EDT at .

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